Almost a week, I know. …

Almost a week, I know. I was so stressed by the e-mail/file mess here at Mills that the very thought of logging on made me nauseous and teary. Finally talked to Kevin about it yesterday and he convinced me I was being dopey. So logged back on, to find that e-mail is mostly fixed at Mills -- it's now (I think) safe to e-mail me again there. maryanne@mamohanraj.com. Most of my other files are still missing, but I got a nice e-mail from the sysadmin in response to my panicked note saying they thought they would be able to get back anything from before July 1st, thank the goddess. We're crossing our fingers and hoping.

I'm exhausted. That seems to be the general trend here at Clarion, though Ceej has managed to do a much better job of keeping up with her journals than I have this week. See her for details on what has occurred. My story (very short) for this week went actually pretty well. It was actually a little mainstream piece (my first), and the class seemed to like it. Even got two stories out of it, 'cause I wrote it again from another character's point of view. If you're curious, ask -- they're "Mint in Your Throat" and "Sorpresa". The first was also an experiment in 2nd person present, which I think worked fairly well (it's the voice they tell you never to use...)

Another first -- I missed class yesterday. Skipped out with Alex; played hooky. It was his birthday; we were both exhausted, overworked and bummed for our own separate reasons. We worked together at Cafe Paradiso for some hours and cheered each other up a little. Then we walked down to Borders (12 blocks?) in the sunlight. That helped. Then I sat and read the third Books of Magic compilation (I adore Books of Magic. If you love Sandman, try them. If you haven't read Sandman, you are in for an amazing treat. Go look for it. It's in graphic novel format) while Alex looked at CD's. That cheered me up quite a bit. Then we went and got lunch -- grilled chicken rustica sandwiches (I forget the name for that kind of Italian sandwich) at a little open air place called Sisters down at the Pike Street Market (well worth visiting if you're in Seattle, although Alex did note that it was a little sad that one of the biggest tourist attractions in Seattle was a mall (arrogant Brit :-)). Sitting in the sun, flowers nearby, good food in our tummies -- we were both pretty cheered up by the end of it. And the long walk uphill in the sun was pretty damn good too. Worked some in the afternoon; I cooked curry for the group for dinner, and then we rented Mars Attacks to cap off Alex's birthday -- he wanted to laugh. Good day.

My birthday is tomorrow. :-) That alone is enough to make it a little easier to get through today. Cards (and gifts :-) welcome -- I'm at:

Mary Anne Mohanraj
Campion Tower, #246
914 E. Jefferson
Seattle, WA 98122

...until August 2nd. Then I go home, and you can e-mail me for that address if you need it.

Going to go veg out for a while now -- I'm reading Giant Bones by Peter Beagle (the one who did The Last Unicorn, which was made into a truly lovely animated movie -- Molly is an amazingly wonderful character) -- it's a collection of short stories. Neat. I gave Kevin a copy of his A Fine and Private Place last Christmas. It's one of the sweetest love stories I've read.

I'll try to write tomorrow. Take care, everyone.

Oops. Just realized that I forgot to explain why you can't read my stories. They were in the Mills files that got deleted. Fear not -- there is a backup. However, I can't figure out how to uncompress the darn thing -- I'm getting error messages when I try. I have sent frantic e-mail to Kevin, who will hopefully be the wonder mathematician and fix it. Also, the nice Mills people may get my lost files back. Don't worry -- one way or another, the stories will come back.

Another thing I meant to note -- while the waterfall near Twin Peaks was painfully commercial, Bob (native of Seattle) took Rick and Alex and me to a secret place he knew (he worked for the forestry people for a couple of years -- cool Bob!). Hiked uphill for about a sweaty hour -- sat by a gorgeous lake for a while, then hike downhill again. Got soaked in sweat and sunshine. Recited poetry coming down. Talked to Bob about my family (sometimes hard to explain :-). Felt happier in my body than I have in a while. It was very good to be exercising it. I recommend hiking. A lot. (I've noticed that I use probably too many superlatives in this journal, but I gotta say that that day was wonderful, fantastic, marvelous, etc. Partly 'cause of what we did, partly 'cause I spent it with three of my favorite people here. If I could pick a second dad, Rick would be it. And if he didn't have a daughter my own age, I'd be tempted to marry him. :-) Bob and Alex are pretty darn cool too. :-) Heck, they're all cool. Clarion is worth doing if only for the friends you make here -- the incredible people you meet.

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